Wednesday, December 30, 2009

5.07 The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Follow along! The episode guide for “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 99-115.

You know, I was just thinking the other day that S4 had its standout episodes – “The Constant” and “The Shape of Things to Come” (and of course the finale) were real game-changers for the show. In a great season, these episodes stood out. But in S5, the entire season was outstanding, and I couldn’t really pull out any that particularly blew my socks off, probably because every episode did. Entertainment Weekly recently named this episode one of the best hours of television in 2009, and maybe if I had to choose one, this might be it. It’s filled with inconsistencies, many of which I point out in my book (Locke dies here but his body isn’t seen by Jack for another month, yet it didn’t decompose… I’m hoping that’ll be explained and it’s not actually an inconsistency; Hurley’s mental institution is CALLED Santa Rosa, but it’s not IN Santa Rosa; Locke never says the things to Jack that Jack will later tell Ben he said; Locke never insists on being called Jeremy Bentham, etc.) But even with all of these inconsistencies, the scene of Locke standing on that table with the cord around his neck gets to me every time, especially now on the heels of our rewatch. We’ve watched in just a few short months the entirety of a man’s life, and for him to stand there after everything he’s been through and say, “I’m a failure” breaks my heart every time. I think it’s a crime that Terry O’Quinn wasn’t nominated for the Emmy for this scene alone. He is so brilliant.

Fun things I noticed:
• Ilana tells Locke that Lapidus and Sun took off in the middle of the night… but they didn’t. We’ll later see them leave in broad daylight.
• Widmore is as awesome a liar as Ben is; he tells Locke that for three decades they protected the island “peacefully” and yet we know they slaughtered the soldiers in 1954, and their truce with the DI in the 70s wasn’t exactly “peaceful.”
• I love Kate, I really, really do, but GOD she’s so self-important and annoying in the scene with John Locke. It’s the only time in the entire series where I really don’t like her at all.
• The scene of John in the cemetery. At that moment, I thought to myself that more than anything, I want that to be a lie. I want Helen to be alive, I want the real John Locke to somehow resurrect, and I want them to be reunited.
• In my book I have photos I got from this guy who lived in the apartment building adjacent to the intersection where they staged the big car crash with Locke, and he sat in his window and took pics of them doing the scene. Could you IMAGINE looking out your window and seeing that?
• OK, not just Terry O’Quinn deserves an Emmy for this episode, but Matthew Fox (again). His acting in the scene where he comes face-to-face with Locke once again is BRILLIANT. He’s clearly high, hanging on by a thread, on the verge of a nervous breakdown yet desperately trying to hold it together. What a scene.

Things that have new meaning:
• The writers have said the Oceanic 6 were off the island in January 2005, and were gone for 3 years. But when Sun and Lapidus and Ben landed on the island, they’re apparently in 2007, according to the same writers. Does that mean they actually time-travelled backwards, too (which would make sense, since we’ll later see they land in the day even though it’s nighttime in the sky) or was it just a rough estimate of 3 years, when in fact it was actually close to three years and was actually November 2007 or something when they decided to return?
• From this point on, we have to watch John Locke on the island as the Man in Black, which is such a strange thing to do.
• Take a look at the scene where Ben pleads with Locke to come down. Locke is holding his hands out to his sides, and Ben is on his knees in front of him. Locke is set up as a Christ figure, one who must die to save our sins....

5.06 316

Follow along! The episode guide for “316” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 68-79 (followed by my epic 20-page summary of Ulysses. Damn you, Ben… you couldn’t have brought along a People magazine to keep you occupied on the plane?)

I love this episode (I think I start out every summary of the S5 episodes with this line, but this season was simply STELLAR). The opening is brilliant, reminding us of the pilot. But on a rewatch, after having seen the finale of S5, it made me think: was this a hint that a do-over simply isn’t entirely possible? I mean, landing on the island a second time was a do-over of sorts, but even when they’re given a second chance, things play out the same. Jack will always be the hero, racing to rescue the others. There will always be that spark between Sawyer and Kate. These people have very entrenched personalities – screw a hydrogen bomb: I don’t think a nuclear holocaust would make things different the second time around.

Fun things I noticed:
• I know that in the flashback of “Dead Is Dead” I commented that Ben had Pee-wee Herman hair when he stole Alex, but I think he kind of has it already in the church. Is it just me or is his hair really creepy after the donkey-wheel turn? He needs to lighten it slightly. The island needs to give that guy a hairdo makeover.
• I’ve always liked the significance of the church being a front for the Dharma Initiative, as if it’s a subtle comment on God becoming simply a front for man’s relationships to each other and to the Earth, which is what the DI was connected to.
• I commented in the book that the army photo is 09/23/54, meaning it’s 50 years less a day before Oceanic crashed. I wonder what the significance is of September 22? I’m assuming the Army landed on the 22nd, and took that picture the next day, right before they were obliterated.
• That scene with Desmond STILL drives me nuts. Does anyone else think that while Des is talking, Eloise somehow has the ability to put the others in a trance or something? Notice no one says anything to him, and he tells them that A) Eloise is Daniel’s mother, B) she’s the one who sent Des to the island and it turned out to be nothing but a waste of time, C) the island is sending him signs, and D) they’re all nothing but game pieces being played by larger forces at work… in other words, pretty freakin’ significant stuff! And they all stare at him, slack-jawed (watch closely: there may actually be drool coming out of the corner of Jack’s mouth) and say nothing, and the moment he’s gone they all give a big, “ANYway…” and get back to business. Like… HUH?! Did you somehow miss the part of the crazy Scotsman explaining this is nothing but a cosmic joke?
• By Jack putting his father’s shoes on Locke, Locke in a way becomes his father, which is a crazy twist in the greater scheme of things, especially since we just rewatched four seasons of them despising one another.
• Notice how many times in the ep Jack tries to have a drink and is interrupted. The island apparently wants him sober this time around.
• Hurley’s reading Y: The Last Man, which is the best book I read this year (I also review that in Finding Lost Season 5, but it’s after the Bentham entry, simply because I couldn’t have it follow Ulysses or readers would wonder if I’d ever get back to the actual episode guide in the thing!)
• You know, watching this again, perhaps in light of the terrorist scare a few days ago, I wonder why Hurley didn’t raise alarm bells. Why exactly is this guy buying 78 seats? Does he know something the rest of us don’t? Could he have an inkling that the plane is going to go down and he doesn’t want too many people going with him? And how could he know that? Is he a large, curly-haired terrorist?
• Just watching the plane take flight gives me the heebie-jeebies. The Oceanic 5 are truly brave people. I would have been curled up in a fetal position.
• “How can you read?” “My mother taught me.” BEST. COMEBACK. EVER.
• Matthew Fox is SO fantastic as he reads Locke’s note. I think I said this in the book, but he really looks like Locke just punched him in the stomach.

Things that have new meaning:
• We were discussing in light of “This Place Is Death” the curiosity of the island reacting so violently to Rousseau’s team, and in this ep I was reminded of Caesar and how he’s going to die, too. Could the island have something against the French? (I don’t mean that as a joke, actually… I wonder if there’s some underlying symbolism of the French Revolution or something, especially with Locke and Rousseau hanging about.)
• Does Ben bring down the plane? He goes to the bathroom and doesn’t return? Remember that thing he pulled out of the vent in “Because You Left”? Could it have been something he used in the bathroom? Was it hidden in his sling?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

5.05 This Place Is Death

Follow along! The episode guide for “This Place Is Death” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 56-65.

This episode has always felt like more than one to me. First, the Rousseau story. Then the story of the survivors trekking across the island to get to the Orchid and dealing with the time flashes along the way. And finally, Ben getting Sun and Jack over to the church. It always feels like it took a lot longer than 42 minutes, but they’ve just packed so many storylines into one episode that it feels very dense.

Fun things I noticed:
• Yunjin is SO good in that first scene on the cellphone. When Ji Yeon tells her she misses her, her voice catches and she’s barely holding it together. I bet every parent in the audience knew exactly how that felt. She’s so brilliant.
• At the end of that phone call, when she says, “Annyong,” does anyone else think of Arrested Development or is that just me?
• Montand says, “Next thing you know he’ll be talking about a submarine.” Oh how I wish Jin had said, “Don’t be silly. We blew up the submarine.” Hahaha!
• I know a lot of people thought the girl who plays Rousseau was a bad choice of actress for it, but I think she’s near-perfect. I totally believe she could grow up to look like Mira Furlan – gaunt because of lack of food, face drawn and lined because of the sun, eyes wilder because of losing her mind. I think this actress is great.
• Okay, okay, my bad: back in “Solitary” I was playing “Nitpick that nitpick” and said that she’s wearing a chocolate sweater, but in “This Place Is Death” it’s grey. And now we see that she had TWO sweaters, and the chocolate one is the one she had one when she killed Robert. That made it even more effective for me, though, remembering that she’d be wearing that same sweater when she met Sayid.
• You know, Charlotte says the Orchid is a way off the island, so it’s often made me wonder why they didn’t all push their way down that well and all try to turn the wheel. ;)
• Does Christian not help John because he’s ephemeral and can’t actually touch him (which would be strange, since he touched Aaron… but that could also be an indication that Aaron is different) or is it a spiritual reason, that he can’t help John because he has to do this himself?
• Ben pushed the wheel; John pulls it. I have no idea if that has any meaning. I’m just saying it.

Things that have new meaning:
• I think that is TOTALLY Hurley’s voice reciting the numbers when Montand is listening to the recording. Listen especially to the way he says “forty-two.”
• I said at the time that Juliet’s “thank you” to Locke is such a huge moment for him, since NO ONE ever thanks him (mostly because they think he’s bonkers) but now that we’ve rewatched the series, I think that even more.
• Charlotte’s final words are the first words she will ever say to Daniel. :::sniffle:::

5.04 The Little Prince

Follow along! The episode guide for “The Little Prince” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 37-48. (Followed by a chapter on the book by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry.)

Do you remember the excitement of the end of this episode the first time? Jin! Rousseau! GAAAHHH!! Ah, good times, good times.

Fun things I noticed:
• Kate tells Jack it’ll take longer than 2 nights to get used to sleeping in a regular bed, but she’d been sleeping in a regular bed in Dharmaville when she was living with Claire.
• Kate says to Jack, “I have always been with you.” At the time I remember joking about it (“Except when I was sleeping with Sawyer in a bear tent”) but it’s an interesting comment. Does she mean that every time she’s been with Sawyer she was actually with Jack in some way, either trying to make him jealous or thinking of him or trying to save him? (By the way, I’m asking these as neutral questions, not attempting to ship one way or the other.)
• So who do you think took the pictures of Ben and Jack and trying to shoot Sayid? Was it Widmore’s people? Does that mean Ben didn’t finish them off the way he said he had? Was it just Ben screwing with Sun to get her to the marina, too?
• I believe that the island is controlling the bloops, and that they showed the beam of light to Locke to show him his lowest moment, perhaps to spur him on to keep going, reminding him of how far he’s come.
• Oh, how I love Sawyer. “Who came in these? Other Others?” “I TAKE IT BAAAACK!!”
• Again I feel like the writers slightly sacrificed the story in the name of plot. Norton probably would have briefed Ben on the Kate issue (but he didn’t because that would have given away the surprise ending) and Mrs. Littleton would have had her settlement shipped to her in Australia, she wouldn’t have had to fly to LA to sign a few documents. That’s ridiculous. But in the name of storytelling, I’ll take it!

Things that have new meaning:
• Kate looks into Jack’s eyes and then tells him what’s up, just like in the finale when she looks into his eyes and then agrees to go along with the whole bomb-dropping thing. There’s something about the look in Jack’s eyes that she 100% trusts.

Rewatch Schedule

Just a quick note that I'll be posting both of this week's episode recaps -- "The Little Prince" and "This Place Is Death" -- tonight, because I'm assuming people have better things to do on Christmas Eve than sit on this site (though WHAT would be more important than chatting about Lost, I have no idea...) ;)

Next week's episodes are "316" and "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham," and again I'll post on both of them on the Wednesday, because I doubt a lot of people will be here on New Year's Eve.

For anyone who asked for S5 for Christmas, that'll mean that by Christmas you'll only be 5 episodes behind, and could probably catch up quickly.

In January we're back up to 4 episodes for the week of January 3-9, then 3 episodes the following week, and 3 episodes the last week. We'll be officially finished our rewatch on January 21, giving us one week of sitting around being sloth-like and waiting for Season 6 to begin on February 2.

See y'all tonight!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

5.03 Jughead

Follow along! The episode guide for “Jughead” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 27-37. (Be sure to check out the sidebar on the REAL Jughead bomb.)

This episode with the crazy name is one of the most important ones in the series. SO much happens in this one: I think in the later guides in my book, I refer back to this episode more than any other in this season. It’s got Charlie’s birth; Locke meeting Alpert in 1954; Daniel meeting his own mother; our first sighting of Charles Widmore ON THE ISLAND; the rampant speculation among fans of where the bomb ended up. Wow, this was one jam-packed episode.

I’m finding with Season 5 that I don’t have much to say that I didn’t already say in my book, since I actually had all of the seasons under my belt and could talk about them pretty freely there. But I’ll try to come up with enough to say here, and then you guys can take the conversation further.

Oh, and before I go any further, one of my readers emailed me to tell me that in the ep guide for “Because You Left,” I refer to the famous scene with Jimmy Stewart in North by Northwest. Which, as he said, was of course with Cary Grant, not Stewart. I just saw that movie again a couple of years ago. I can’t believe I made that error, but in case anyone else saw it, I want to reassure you it will be changed if there’s ever another printing. I think when it comes to Lost, I just permanently have Vertigo on the brain.

Fun things I noticed:
• When those landmines blew up, it reminded me of the way Smokey uprooted trees.
• So, I’ve seen this episode many times now, which means by now I can probably get used to Ellie’s accent. NOPE. No. Just can’t do it. I still hate it. HATE IT. The way she delivers every single line through clenched teeth is so irritating beyond words.
• I still find it strange that Juliet talks to them in Latin when Widmore and the other guy are speaking English. It makes it seem like she doesn’t trust the other people with her.
• “Are they from the future, too?” “You told her?” HAHA!!
• This is one of the first times we see Widmore clean-shaven. From Shape of Things to Come to finale where Sun approached him on the street to even the premiere of S5 where he talked to her in the airport, he always has silver stubble all over his face. But here his face looks as smooth as little Charlie’s bum.
• “Put the gun down, Widmore” STILL sends chills down my spine! Probably because I remember the “GAAASP!!! WHAAAA?!” feeling I had the first time I heard it.

Things that have new meaning:
• Now that we’ve seen both 40-year-old Eloise and 70-year-old Eloise, young Ellie is even MORE ANNOYING.
• Check out the flirting between Sawyer and Juliet!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5.02 The Lie

Follow along! The episode guide for “The Lie” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 16-27.

What a fantastic episode. That epic scene between Hurley and his mother AND the flying Hot Pocket? Genius.

Fun things I noticed:
• I found this book on conspiracy theories in the summer, and in it there was an entry about the Jekyll Island conspiracy, where the richest men in America met on Jekyll Island in an attempt to convince the federal reserve to switch to paper money, crippling the economy but insuring their own wealth in the process (or something… I don’t remember it exactly). Apparently they were planning a lie they were going to spread through the rest of the world. The reason this meant something to me when I read it was because Lapidus brings everyone Jekyll Island Beers at the beginning of this episode, as they, too, are constructing a massive lie to tell the world. Damn, I wish I’d found this book before FLS5 went to print!!
• Maybe it’s because I watched the season finale of Dexter the night before, but did anyone else notice that Jill in the butcher shop was the CI that told Debra about Dexter’s mom?
• Oh Frogurt. Your death might have been even funnier than Arzt’s.
• “Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?” Still one of the funniest lines EVER.
• Honestly, that scene between Hurley and his Ma… Jorge Garcia deserves an Emmy for that one. I ♥ that scene SO much.
• Watching this ep on the heels of season 4 shows us that Jack is going through major withdrawal in these scenes. Notice how subtly Matthew Fox handles these scenes, being ever-so-jittery, sweaty, and off-balance. It’s the beginning of his best season performance of the series. I’m so angry that he wasn’t nominated for a Golden Globe. ARGH.

Things that have new meaning:
• WHAT did Ben take out of that vent? We never actually see him remove that thing from the box again. Was it the gun that he used on the dock with Penny? Was it the S5 DVD limited edition box set?
• MAN Widmore was a complete spaz when he was younger. It’s so strange to see him like this after seeing the calm and collected 40-year-old or the terrorizing 70-year-old.

5.01 Because You Left

Follow along! The episode guide for “Because You Left” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 1-16.

And here we are in season 5 already… I can’t believe how quickly this has flown by. Was there a white light I somehow missed? Season 5 opened with time travelling Daniel, flashforwards of the Oceanic 6 and flashbacks to the people on the island. I can see why so many fans got REALLY confused this season. We, on the other hand, followed it perfectly. :)

Fun things I noticed:
• There’s a giraffe by Baby Miles’ bed, and I’m pretty sure there was a giraffe on the wall in the Dharma Claire nursery and a giraffe in Aaron’s room at Kate’s.
• I know I said this before, and I don’t mean to be cruel, but I think the construction worker is a better actor than Francois Chau. He really does seem to handle every scene through gritted teeth.
• On previous DVD sets, you can skip once through the “previously on” section, and hit skip one more time when the Lost credits roll (yes, I can’t even watch the 5 seconds that takes). But on this DVD, when I hit skip, it skipped over the previously on AND the opening segment with Chang, straight to the credits. When I hit skip again, it went past that entire track and into the next. I actually muttered to myself, “They changed the RULES!” exactly the way Ben did in “The Shape of Things to Come.” Then I giggled to myself at my extraordinary geekiness.
• Ben asks Jack what Locke told him when he saw him, but he asked him that same question at the funeral home in the S4 finale.
• Poor Sawyer seems to begin every season barefoot.
• I kept thinking that if Locke could make it to the top of the cliff and knock the Beechcraft down, then Boone wouldn’t have died. Miles would hate me.
• The hotel address where the safehouse is, is 1818. The plane that carried the Oceanic 6 had 1717 on it.
• Richard says to Locke “that’s all relative,” when referring to “when” they are. In S4, when Jack asks Daniel where the helicopter is, Dan says the same thing.

Things that have new meaning:
• You can already see how Juliet and Sawyer will end up together; I found myself watching their every move in this episode.
• It’s interesting to watch Alpert come upon Locke knowing what we know from later in the season. And I noticed that Alpert had a surprised look on his face, and yet a rushed, knowing one. I wonder what direction they gave Nestor Carbonell before he did that scene?
• Charlotte mentions she hasn’t had a nosebleed since she was little. Was that just a throwaway line or is there a reason she had nosebleeds when she was a child?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Season 4 Recap

Season 4 was the first full season where the producers knew exactly how many episodes they had left, and knew how they could allow the show to unfold perfectly over 48 more episodes. And, as such, it was a lot tighter than any season before it. The title of the season 4 opener, “The Beginning of the End,” was absolutely perfect, since it really is the beginning of the rest of the series. Season 4 is the one where we see the brilliant episode “The Constant,” that contains in it the notions of consciousness-travelling, and the immense amount of importance Daniel will have in the series. Within that episode were SO many elements integral to the rest of the series: time travel; death by time travel; manipulating the future by doing something in the past; contact with the outside world; and love conquering all. In the equally brilliant “The Shape of Things to Come” we see the other side of the wormhole that will be located at the Frozen Donkey Wheel when Ben flies through it and into Tunisia. We see the war between Widmore and Ben that will only escalate in season 5. In “Cabin Fever,” Richard Alpert steps up as an important figure, and the mega-questions raised in that episode will be illuminated in season 5. The finale left us breathless, with the castaways hanging in the balance, and all of us desperate for season 5 (and having to wait 8 months for it!!)

Just looking at season 4 on its own, however, the big thing that happened was the flashforward. For the first three seasons we could see their lives now as a culmination of what we would later piece together in their flashbacks. Each flashback gave us more understanding of why the characters acted the way they did, and even the most villainous character (yes, I’m lookin’ at you, Ben) could garner sympathy from us just by us seeing what they’d gone through in their early lives. But in season 4, we know what’s going to happen to everyone in the future: Jack’s going to end up with Kate and then go off the rails; Kate’s going to raise Aaron as her son; Hurley will make it off the island but will be constantly visited by the island dead; Sayid will become a hitman working at Ben’s behest; Ben will vow his revenge against Widmore; and Sun will mourn the loss of her husband while returning to Korea to take revenge on her father for how he’s treated her and Jin, and will give birth to a baby that she will raise in Jin’s memory.

What an amazing story device this was! Season 4 showed audiences what a brilliant writing team was attached to Lost. In season 1 these were mysterious characters whose actions weren’t always clear, until we saw their backstories. Now the writers have decided they’ve got this idea to get them off the island, but they also know that in season 5 they’re going to plant us three years in the future. They don’t have time to cover off what will happen to the castaways off-island for those three years in season 5, and they have to cover that now. BUT they want to end the season with the Oceanic 6 actually being rescued. What to do? Cover off those three years using flashforwards. It’s a solution that was both risky and genius, and it paid off. By the end of this season we are able to put together what happened after the island moved, who got off the island, and what happened to them when they did. We’re given just enough information that by season 5 they’ll be able to jump ahead with everything and not have to fill in the blanks for us.

But what about those who didn’t leave the island? We’ve got Claire going AWOL and leaving Aaron in a move that still has Lost fans scratching their heads. Locke finds the cabin and his instructions to move the island, but Ben takes them over. Locke’s leadership has been a difficult one, yet at the same time, he’s the one who was right. He told Jack that the freighter folk were there to kill them. He told Jack that he would move the island, and he did. He told Jack they were going to have to lie, and they do. Everything he predicted has come true.

Ben moves into center stage in this season as the ambiguous villain of the series, and Widmore becomes something other than just Penny’s dad and Desmond’s nemesis when we find out he sent a freighter of people to the island. We meet all 4 of the freighter folk this season, and all of them are still around by next season, with Miles, Charlotte and Dan becoming essential characters. Michael redeems himself by helping delay the bomb long enough to get the helicopter off the boat.

This was also the season where people’s belief systems began changing. Sawyer’s “every man for himself” mantra disappeared as he began worrying about other people first, and becoming part of the team. That will only grow in season 5, when he’ll become head of security of a group of people. Jack went from Mr. “Locke-is-a-stupidhead-and-there’s-no-way-I’m-ever-returning-to-this-godforsaken-place-I-hate-Locke-I-hate-hate-hate-him” to the guy trying to lure everyone else back to the island. Ben went from the confident leader to the man who’s realized John Locke is usurping him, a belief that will only grow stronger in season 5 until he kills the very man he used to worship.

Season 4 was a pivotal turning point, a glorious turn in an already near-perfect series that sent us toward the even more extraordinary season 5. (Can you tell I like this show?) As we move on to season 5 with season 6 coming to us in just over a month, the excitement is building. I can’t wait.

Can you believe that we’re already moving on to season 5?! Where did the rewatch go? For some fun, here are the season 4 bloopers. There are some classics in here.

And for the one person left who I haven’t foisted this video upon, go and check out this fantastic trailer for season 6 that was compiled by one of our very own! Of all of the prep videos for season 6, this one is officially my fave:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

4.13/14 There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3

Follow along! The GARGANTUAN episode guide for “There’s No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3” is in Finding Lost — Season 4, pp. 170-195.

I remember when I first watched this finale. I thought it was amazing. Not season 3 finale amazing, but amazing nonetheless. Now, going back to rewatch it after season 5, I love it even more than I did the first few times I saw it. What great stuff we have here!

Fun things I noticed:
• With “Enter 77” so fresh in my mind, I noticed the C-4 set-up on the boat is very much the same as the one in the Flame station. Is it possible Widmore is the one who rigged the Flame many years ago the same way he’s now insisting on them rigging the freighter?
• Seriously. DO NOT try to attack this badass Iraqi. Watching Sayid kick Keamy’s ass in this episode was as much fun as watching Jin go after Mikhail in season 3. I’d love to see the two of them pitted together in a steel cage match: “Jinja versus the Wacky Iraqi!” Ooh, Vince McMahon could make a mint, I tells ya.
• Walt asks Hurley why they didn’t come to see him. Obvious answer: Because you CHANGED YOUR NAME and were in hiding. Even if we’d WANTED to find you, there’s no way we could, Dude.
• SUCH a fantastic scene between Locke and Jack. So amazing. Note to Patrick or anyone making those videos: Parse together the scene where Locke pulls Jack up off the cliff in season 1 and Jack hangs on Locke’s every word, then the big “Do you really think this is all an accident?” scene from the finale, then one of the great Destiny vs. Free Will arguments that Jack and Locke have in season 2, then the showdown in this episode, then Jack pulling the trigger against Locke’s head, and then Jack talking to Locke’s corpse as he changes his shows in “316.” Let’s string ‘em all together. I’m DYING to see one more scene with these two… with Locke as the Man in Black facing off against Jack, the guy who now has faith.
• Rose: I’m gonna keep my eye on your, Shorty. Ha!
• You know, I’ve never been in a plane crash, but *I* would be nervous around that open helicopter doorway, and yet everyone seems extremely calm to be taking off in a helicopter. Strange, since the last time they were in a flying apparatus it was hurtling toward the earth.
• Oops: Didn’t notice this for my book (dammit) but when Sawyer leans in to kiss Kate, he tilts his head to the left. When the camera moves behind his head, it’s tilted to the right. And then back to the left when shown from behind Kate’s head.
• Sayid tells Hurley, “They say it was suicide,” referring to Locke. Who’s “they”?
• Honestly… I’ll never forgive Jin for staying with Michael. What kind of husband/father DOES that, just abandons his wife and child to the deck of the freighter to be a good buddy to Michael? I understand the symbolism (everything comes around… this was the guy who he’d punched because of a watch and who caused him to wear a handcuff for weeks and now they’re all good and all that) but it’s just… ridiculous. Desmond wastes no time in racing off, and Penny’s not actually STANDING ON THE DECK the way Sun is.
• In Season 3 Desmond uses CPR to save Claire, and now Claire’s brother saves him.
• “Gouge Away” by The Pixies. I’ve had my issues with Jack, but I adore his taste in music.

Things that have new meaning:
• I STILL don’t buy that Bentham crap that was strung out throughout this episode. I’ve ranted too much about that so far, though, and don’t really want to go on about it again. But after “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham,” where he barely even mentioned the name, and when he did he never insisted on anyone calling him that, I doubt they’d all be calling him Bentham in this episode. Thank goodness for Hurley asking Sayid why he’s calling him that…
• Ben thanks Richard for helping him, and Richard says flatly, “My pleasure.” But his tone would indicate it’s anything but. His immense doubts about Ben are already in place, and his sights are set on Locke.
• Did you notice the liquid nitrogen tank that Michael’s pulling has the date “1977” on it? Interesting that it’s got THAT year of all years on it as the UN registry date.
• Miles knows all about Charlotte: since we now know he’s right, is this proof that he has been talking to the Dharma Initiative dead? How would he know that?
• Locke and Ben go down into the Orchid station: The level that they descend to, where Locke watches the video and Ben blows it all up, do we assume that’s the same long pathway that we see still under construction at the beginning of season 5? They do a sonogram of the wall and find the FDW, and yet Ben goes down a long tunnel, then descends down a staircase and finds the FDW… yet in “Because You Left,” the construction worker says the FDW is 15-16 feet inside the rock wall, not a hundred meters away. Is it possible they were digging in a different spot?
• Here’s another question: If the people were evacuated in 1977 in “The Incident,” then who stayed behind to finish the construction on the Orchid?
• Ben’s apology to Locke seems sincere, and even bigger than it should have at this point. Is it possible Ben can already see into the future and knows what he’s going to do to Locke later?
• There’s definitely some significance to that kerosene lamp. It’s like it’s a way of bringing Jacob’s spirit into a place.
• I remember at the time wondering why they didn’t just leave Aaron with Desmond and Penny (stable couple who would take care of him and get him to civilization much quicker, and would keep him away from the glaring media spotlight and make it so Kate doesn’t have to create a big story) but in “The Lie” we’ll see that she’s already immensely connected to Kate shortly after getting onto Penny’s boat.
• Pretty much everything Jack tells Ben that Locke told him… Locke never actually told him.
• In this final scene we get the proof that Jack talked to Locke a full month before seeing him in the coffin, yet Locke killed himself only a few days after talking to him. I find it strange that the corpse didn’t decompose at all. Something’s up with that.

And that completes season 4!!! We're almost there, everyone! Make sure you pick up the season 5 disks this week, on DVD or blu-ray, and you can get a copy of my season 5 book here. More words on this season than any other one previous to it!!! You can't go wrong. :)

Tune in tomorrow for my rundown of season 4!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

4.12 There's No Place Like Home, Part 1

Follow along! The episode guide for “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1” is in Finding Lost — Season 4, pp. 159-170.

The beginning of the three-part ender, where we see what really happened when the Oceanic 6 first returned to civilization. So much to love in this episode!

Fun things I noticed:
• I ♥♥♥ Carmen Reyes. That scene of her running to hug Hurley and then Sayid is just… sigh. I ♥ her.
• This episode once again raised the question about Sayid’s parents: Are they dead? Or are they just hard-hearted? Kate seems completely alone at the airport, while Sayid is enveloped by the Reyes family, but no one shows up for him, either. We know what a hard person his father was, but what about his mother?
• Does anyone else find it strange that Juliet knew all about the Looking-Glass station – even though Mikhail and everyone else were surprised to discover it existed – but she didn’t know about the Orchid? Maybe it’s the toppermost of the top-secret places on the island.
• Sawyer: “You don’t get to die alone.” That still makes me laugh out loud.
• There’s a LOT more on the DVD than was shown in the original TV version of the episode: we see new questions from the reporters, Sayid is asked a question, Jack’s father is brought up by another one. I’m surprised in all the extra footage there’s no reaction shot of Sun’s parents when she leans forward and speaks English for the first time. You’d think they both would have fallen out of their chairs in shock.
• Why didn’t a doctor ever notice that Sun had conceived the baby post-crash? An ultrasound can usually figure out the date of conception to the exact day, give or take a day or two. You don’t think they would have noticed that the baby had been conceived a month and a half AFTER her husband had supposedly died?
• I still remember being on the edge of my seat in that final week between this ep and the finale: we know the O6 will be leaving together, yet at the end of this episode Kate and Sayid are with the Others, Hurley’s with Locke, Sun and Aaron are on the freighter with Desmond, Jack is with Sawyer, and Ben has been taken by Keamy. How will they EVER get back together to get off the island?! ;)

Things that have new meaning:
• I love the disgust with which Ben tells Hurley those crackers are 15 years old. In light of S5, those crackers are still a mystery. Is it possible they’re actually not old at all, but somehow time-jumped? Wouldn’t you love it if at the beginning of S6 they’re all back in 2007 and Miles says to Hurley, “You’re the one who wanted to rewrite Empire” and Hurley says, “Dude, that was THIRTY YEARS AGO. Let it go.”
• Who could Ben have been communicating with? Jacob doesn’t seem to be an option anymore in light of S5. Could it have been Richard? Someone suggested on my site that he could have been communicating with an earlier version of himself (and then when I posted that suggestion over on DocArzt, I was told that was one of the stupidest things ever suggested in the Lostverse… but I’m not sure it should be dismissed so summarily).
• There’s Alpert in ratty clothes again! I forgot we saw him dressed like that in this episode. By S5, he’s completely well put-together (always in a dress shirt with the sleeves up) but here he’s not. In case you weren’t watching Lost at the time, the reason Alpert suddenly begins showing up at the end of S4 rather than being a large part of the entire season is because he’d moved over to another series, Cane, which was on CBS, and CBS refused to let him do guest spots for ABC. Then Cane was cancelled and he was free to come back. Whew.
• What if the Temple allows you to see the future? Is it possible that when Ben was taken there and “lost his innocence” as a boy, that it allowed him to see across time, and so that’s how he always knows what’s going to happen? That’s why Alex’s death might have been a surprise to him (it wasn’t in what he’d seen) and why he could march right up to Keamy and know he’ll be just fine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lost Season 5 DVD Out Today!

Hey all: The Lost Season 5 DVD and blu-ray are both being released today, and since we're launching into season 5 next week, it's probably a good time to grab a copy! There are deals all over the place today. Come over to the Nik at Nite blog for more of a rundown (and some cool hieroglyphs that were also released from Buena Vista today!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

4.11 Cabin Fever

Follow along! The episode guide for “Cabin Fever” is in Finding Lost — Season 4, pp. 141-154.

Awesome Locke flashback, and it also contains many of the seeds for S5, bringing in Richard Alpert as a far more significant character, and tying together a storyline that will come later.

Fun things I noticed:
• When Emily leans down to put on the record at the very beginning, you can see her stomach. That girl is NOT 6 months pregnant. But then again, if they can pass off that Kate was 6 months pregnant when the plane crashed, I guess this could pass, too, in the fantasy pregnancy world of Lost. ;) In this wonderful world women don’t look pregnant until their 8th month, and two hours after the baby is born they’re skipping through the sand wearing skinny pants. Ah, bliss.
• I LOVE the scene where everyone is arguing about who is following whom (and Hurley’s, “Oh this is AWESOME” retort) but when they separate from Sawyer’s group, Ben specifically said, “Follow me.” So I have to go with Hurley and Locke on this one.
• Horace has the same hair from “Man Behind the Curtain” and not that longer, bigger version he has in S5. I wonder why they went so huge in the later season?
• Did anyone else watch Journeyman and become as upset as I did when they cancelled it? Young John played Dan’s son on the show.
• “Destiny, John, is a fickle BITCH” is still one of my all-time fave taglines for the show.
• Ben and Hurley sharing the AstroBar is still an awesome, awesome scene. It made me remember Annie handing Ben the Astro Bar and I wonder now if he sits on that log and takes a bite and it reminds him of his childhood and everything he’s lost?

Things that have new meaning:
• Ben says, “I used to have dreams.” Could they have stopped after he was taken to the Temple?
• When would Horace and “the Missus” (who we would now presume is Amy, and not Olivia as previously thought) have had time to head out to the cabin? Here he comes off as more of an underling, but in season 5 he’s running the whole show.
• Richard Alpert looking at baby Locke in the incubator and smiling makes SO much more sense now that we know Locke told him in 1954 to seek him out in 1956. I LOVE continuity like this!!
• RA says to young John, “What belongs to you already.” Since he’s already seen John walking around in 1954, that question makes more sense. He saw him with the compass, he mentioned the beach, and he had a knife in his pants, so one would presume that young John chose correctly. However, he also mentioned Jacob, so I’m thinking the Book of Laws would be something that would belong to Jacobites (and remember Eko telling John that the Old Testament is the Book of Law, and handing it to him? Technically that already belongs to him). But the knife still seems like the right choice to me. This is one thing I DO expect to have explained in S6.
• So… who WAS in charge when they wiped out the DI? Ben says it wasn’t him. Eloise and Widmore would have already left the island at that point (it would have been in 1992). Was Alpert in charge temporarily until he could find a real leader?
• Abaddon says he experienced a miracle. What was it?
• Abaddon tells John that when they run into each other next, John will owe him one. They run into each other next when Abaddon is ferrying John around. What does John owe him, and does Abaddon ever ask for the repayment? Now I sort of wish we’d seen Abaddon saying, “You owe me one.”
• If Christian is a manifestation of the Man in Black, that moment of John Locke saying he’s here because he was chosen and the MiB smiling seems even more sinister, like he’s patting the head of a silly toddler and saying, “Oh… you are… RIGHT. YES. Carrots ARE candy. You go right ahead and eat those candy carrots. (snicker)” It’s almost as if the MiB needs to inhabit the body of a true disciple, and they discover JL really is that disciple here.

**Just a quick note that next week is the end of Season 4, so make sure you've got your copies of season 5 of Finding Lost before we begin the Season 5 rewatch (and get your S5 copies on DVD!) ;)

4.10 Something Nice Back Home

Follow along! The episode guide for “Something Nice Back Home” is in Finding Lost — Season 4, pp. 121-131.

Another great episode (season 4, for the most part, was simply fantastic). This contains the not-so-big mystery about what Kate had been doing behind Jack’s back that we discover in S5 (which I’m still baffled about), and the beginning of Jack’s downfall.

Fun things I noticed:
• Presumably it wasn’t just Sun who got the big Oceanic settlement, but all of them. So why is Jack working all these crazy hours when he’s probably a millionaire? We can probably assume Sun got twice what the others got (she would have received compensation for Jin as well as herself) but the others would have walked away with a lot of money. I’m assuming it’s just Jack’s nature: no matter how much money he’s got, he’ll still be trying to fix things.
• There’s a strange juxtaposition of Jack asking Kate to marry him right after Hurley tells him they’re living in Heaven… it’s almost as if he’s testing the theory. He sits outside the mental institution, staring at where Charlie visits Hurley, and then he offers her a ring, as if her saying “yes” might actually uphold what Hurley’s saying. Is he already starting to listen to the big guy?
• Sawyer finds Aaron in a tree, in the same spot where Danielle always put her trap dolls. Is Aaron a trap in some way? By grabbing him out of that tree, is the trap that eventually, down the road, it’ll bring them back to the island?

Things that have new meaning:
• Again, something I pointed out at the time, but notice that Jack takes the battery out of the smoke detector, so when “Smokey” appears in the form of Christian, it can’t be detected. (And I also pointed out how unlikely that a large hospital would have a tiny smoke detector and not a state-of-the-art fire prevention system, but let’s ignore that for now.)
• And… again. One more time I’ll say it: I don’t understand why Kate lied to Jack. Here she says that Sawyer wouldn’t have wanted her to tell him the truth… why? Why would Sawyer have expected her to lie? That makes zero sense. Just tell him the woman’s name is Cassidy (not Noreen) and that she was actually Sawyer’s lover and they have a child together. Would that make Jack jealous? Perhaps, but maybe knowing there was another woman out there with one significant tie to Sawyer might have made things better, not worse.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

4.09 The Shape of Things to Come

Follow along! The episode guide for “The Shape of Things to Come” is in Finding Lost — Season 4, pp. 107-117.

Amazing, amazing episode… this one is up there with “The Constant” as tops for season 4. This is the first time we see the big rivalry between Ben and Widmore, and it’s a signal for the shape of things to come in season 5.

Fun things I noticed:
• Widmore is staying in the penthouse suite, and Tom was staying at the penthouse suite at the Hotel Earle. Something about being on top, I guess…
• Oh that ENDING!!! It never fails to send chills down my spine.

Things that have new meaning:
• In “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” Locke lands in the desert and Widmore has cameras everywhere, and the Bedouin eventually arrive via car. In this one there are no cameras, and yet the Bedouin arrive immediately, on horse. Was the site already being monitored somehow? Why did it take longer for them to arrive for Locke?
• So is Ben lying about Ishmael? Did he really kill Nadia or did Ben just use that image to recruit Sayid?
• I pointed this out in S4, but notice the line when Miles is sitting at the kitchen table and Claire wanders in saying “I’m OK, I’ll live.” Miles glances at her and says, “I wouldn’t be too sure of that.” Is that an indication that he knows she’s not quite alive? What does he mean by that?
• Let’s look at that final scene again:

BEN: Wake up, Charles.
[Charles Widmore pulls on a bedside lamp.]
WIDMORE: I wondered when you were gonna show up. I see you've been getting more sun.
BEN: Iraq is lovely this time of year. When did you start sleeping with a bottle of scotch by the bed?
WIDMORE: When the nightmares started.
[Widmore pulls back the covers and pours himself a glass of MacCutcheon.]
WIDMORE: Have you come here to kill me, Benjamin?
[Widmore sips the whiskey.]
BEN: We both know I can't do that.
WIDMORE: Then why are you here?
BEN: I'm here, Charles, because you murdered my daughter.
WIDMORE: Don't stand there, looking at me with those horrible eyes of yours and lay the blame for the death of that poor girl on me, when we both know very well I didn't murder her at all, Benjamin. You did.
BEN: No, that's not true.
WIDMORE: Yes, Benjamin, it is. You creep into my bedroom in the dead of night--like a rat--and have the audacity to pretend that you're the victim?
[Widmore leans forward.]
WIDMORE: I know who you are, boy. What you are. I know that everything you have you took from me. So... Once again I ask you: Why are you here?
BEN: I'm here, Charles, to tell you that I'm going to kill your daughter. Penelope, is it? And once she's gone... once she's dead... then you'll understand how I feel. And you'll wish you hadn't changed the rules.
[Widmore shifts in his bed.]
WIDMORE: You'll never find her.
[Ben turns to leave.]
WIDMORE: That island's mine, Benjamin. It always was. It will be again.
BEN: (Turning) But you'll never find it.
WIDMORE: Then I suppose the hunt is on for both of us.
BEN: I suppose it is. Sleep tight, Charles.
[Ben leaves, pulling the door shut behind him.]

• There’s just SO much there for S5. Widmore says I know WHAT you are, as if he’s referring to Ben becoming some sort of “thing” after visiting the Temple. He refers to him as “boy” and we think of 40-year-old Widmore visiting young Ben in the tent. He tells Ben that he’s responsible for the death of his own daughter and in “Dead Is Dead,” Ben takes that responsibility. Ben says he’s going to kill Penny and that leads to him confronting her on the dock. SO much of season 5 is sparked by what happens in this scene. Which means this might be the most perfectly titled episode of Lost yet.

4.08 Meet Kevin Johnson

Follow along! The episode guide for “Meet Kevin Johnson” is in Finding Lost — Season 4, pp. 94-103.

I said it in my book and it bears repeating: while all of the characters have found themselves pushed to the limits, no one has been abused more than Michael. His time on the island was hell, spent trying to get his son to listen to him, and when they FINALLY bonded the kid was taken from him, forcing Michael to become a monster he could never forgive. Now the poor guy has hit an all-time low and the island won’t even let him off himself. Worst life ever. I know a lot of fans hated Michael for what he did, but I could just never bring myself to feel hatred for the poor guy. I can’t help but think of younger Michael, so in love with his baby son and having him taken away from him. The guy never recovered from that blow, he’d never done anything terrible in his life to that point, and he’s had nothing but misery ever since.

Fun things I noticed:
• I’ve always been annoyed by that scene at the beginning where the Lost writers reveal a ton o’ freakin’ obvious: The freighter folk are here for Ben. Yeah, we knew that. Oh yeah? Well.. my man on the boat is MICHAEL. Um, yeah. Figured that out, too. You mean the Michael who shot and killed two people and then put us all in danger and left us, THAT MICHAEL? Yes, Sawyer, thank you for narrating for the viewers at home who’d fallen asleep during season 2. Sheesh.
• I still wonder if the timing is off on this? Michael’s mom says he was gone for over 2 months, which means if they disappeared September 22, let’s assume he got back around Dec 1. When he visits her the Christmas decorations are up already, so it must be mid-December or slightly earlier. But if he returned on December 1 he somehow lost Walt, fell into a depression and moved to the brink of suicide (exceedingly fast, since it would normally take a much longer time for that to happen), got into a car accident, was all banged up, HEALED, and got back to his mother’s, ALL… in just over a week. Then he goes to get the gun, can’t kill himself, sees the thing on Oceanic on the news, is on the freighter instantly and next to the island, all within another week.
• I love how Tom asks him if he’s got the time… after he’d just pawned the watch. Did Tom maybe go to the pawn shop and reclaim it?
• I know I mentioned earlier that I only saw one helicopter on the freighter and someone else said no, in this episode you clearly see two… but I still only see one. But there are definitely two copter pads in this ep.
• In case you weren’t watching S4 when it first aired, it was after this episode that the show went on hiatus due to the Writer’s Strike.
• Did anyone else notice that on the DVDs, there are 3 eps on the first disk, 4 on each of the next two and 3 on the last one, which is exactly how we've been watching them?? That was completely by coincidence!

Things that have new meaning:
• Now that we know Rousseau will be dead by the end of this episode, and having so recently watched her first encounter with Sayid in “Solitary,” I’m more saddened by the fact that we never really got any reunion scenes between her and Alex. Yes, there was the touching one where she touches Alex’s face and they realize they’re mother and daughter, but back at Chez Ben they’re just acting nonchalant and hanging out, not acting like this is a recently life-changing experience (much like Hurley and Claire are back to life as usual about 12 hours after finding out Charlie was dead).
• Seeing Rousseau die at the end of this episode is more sad now that we’ve seen the younger version of her come to the island and we know how lovely she was before she went mad. :(